Street Fight Daily: LivingSocial and ‘Unicorpses,’ Airbnb Raises $100 Million

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…

LivingSocial Offers a Cautionary Tale to Today’s Unicorns (New York Times)
The tech industry’s boom has been defined by the rise of “unicorns,” private companies that investors have valued at $1 billion or more. Before the term came into vogue, LivingSocial was among the biggest of its day. It now offers a glimpse of what some of today’s unicorns might look like several years down the road.

Airbnb Raises $100 Million Only Months After Last Funding Round (Fortune)
Home-sharing startup Airbnb has raised a fresh $100 million in funding at a $25.5 billion valuation only months after a $1.5 billion mega-round. The company now forecasts revenue of $900 million for this year.

RetailMeNot’s Hoyt: This Will Be the Most Personalized Holiday Season We’ve Ever Had (Street Fight)
Today marks the beginning of a crucial week and month for retailers. Whether in-store, online, or on a mobile device, an astounding amount of retail business will be transacted in the next five weeks. RetailMeNot vice president of communications Brian Hoyt said to expect a more personalized, more omnichannel holiday shopping season this year.

Detour App Shows the Promises and Challenges of Geolocation Travel Tech (Skift)
Detour is an audio walking tour app that uses geolocation technology to immerse users more immediately in the rhythm of a neighborhood. Less than a year old, Detour launched a 2.0 iteration today with a new user interface, a smarter back end, and a new business model.

5 Ways Merchants Can Use Hyperlocal Tech to Improve Service This Holiday Season (Street Fight)
With the holiday season upon us, local merchants are pulling out all the stops to entice shoppers into their stores and away from their computers. Without the ability to compete with ecommerce giants on pricing, many independent brick-and-mortar retailers are focusing on customer service. Here are five ways local merchants can improve customer service this holiday season by implementing hyperlocal technology.

Why Root for Groupon? (Medium)
Andrew Mason: In the same way Adwords and the pay-per-click model helped change digital advertising, Groupon’s pay-per-customer model helped change local advertising. By running one deal a day, it was novel and exciting for customers  —  an awesome way to discover new things, and an excuse to get out of the house.

Sponsored Content: Unclaimed Social Media Local Listings Bring This Clothing Chain Down (Street Fight)
This month’s Brand Battle, in conjunction with Brandify, compares the local digital marketing footprint of two popular apparel chains: Forever 21 and H&M. The Swedish clothing giant was the runaway victor in this contest.

Not All That Glitters Is Gold (Medium)
Matt Maloney: Innovation in the restaurant industry is taking place at a fast and furious pace. Unfortunately, companies are shunning fundamentals critical for long-term viability in order to juice short-term growth and capitalize on the frothy private funding market, burning the trust and respect of restaurants and consumers.

Nextdoor Moves in on Facebook, Yelp, Craiglist with New Local Services Directory (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: Nextdoor is making its move into local services with “Neighborhood Favorites,” essentially a directory of local service providers. It’s like Facebook in that I can see what my neighbors have recommended. It’s like Yelp in that users can search for businesses, and the presentation of rankings is user-friendly and straightforward. It’s unlike Craigslist in that it represents a trusted alternative to classifieds.

Digital Is Gaining Fast on Broadcast in Competition for Political Advertising (Poynter)
Rick Edmonds: In the 2016 political race, a dark horse is advancing without much notice. Digital advertising is poised to challenge the longtime dominance of local broadcast in sucking up campaign dollars.

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